While it has become the established CW among the cognoscenti that this time Prakash karat overplayed his hand and thus lost his considerable influence on the polity. While i mostly agree (Mostly- cause, this close to election, and Manmohan reneging on his word, he hardly had any option). The point i want to make is, the considerable influence of karat was mostly due to the political incompetence of Mr Manmohan Singh and the congress party. In a coalition, if you are small..but vital..you get cabinet berths..but here what congress did was instead of cabinet posts, gave CPM control over the economic agenda. That was never wise as fringe ideology based party can only harm you if you allow them to set up the agenda.
So, overall it was the incompetence rather than anything else that allowed CPM to have so much influence, cause as you can see in the murky world of poltics, for political compulsions, a high brow person like Prakash karat has to anoint Mayawati as a natural PM. (That should lay to rest btw, any concept of intellectual honesty among CPM leaders....just as we have for other parties)